Tonight I’m moving fast, so here’s a quick little doodlewash of a glowing fireplace. There aren’t any stockings hung or garland because I simply didn’t have time to draw them. That said, I was actually looking at fireplace references, switched into shopping mode, and ultimately opted for a stone fireplace, because I’ve always wanted one. Not only is my current fireplace not made of stone, it comes with a remote to turn on the flame. I haven’t had a wood burning fireplace in years because of the maintenance involved, but I really miss them. The sound of the crackling wood and the signature smell that fills the room is really impossible to truly replicate with a gas version. Most of my memories of burning wood come from my childhood, where we would always gather around the fireplace during the coldest bits of the season.

Though our fireplace back then burned wood, often the little wood pile out back was covered in snow and the wood was too wet to burn properly. Luckily around the time I was born, a fabulous new invention called a Duraflame® firelog was also born. These were individually wrapped log-shaped things that were covered in paper. You simply lit the paper and a fire was born. These didn’t crackle quite as much, as they were made from sawdust and various other mysterious recycled bits, but I remember some would burn in various colors which was sort of cool. Though having a fire, versus not having a fire made these little logs a wonderful thing, they still felt a bit like cheating. The smell wasn’t as good either, but they did manage to provide warmth at the very least.

So many inventions have come that are here to make our lives easier, but along with them, we often lose a bit of the joy that something natural brings. Even as a kid, I remember thinking the fake log wasn’t as good. Of course, being a little kid, I wasn’t the one responsible for buying real firewood and keeping it safely dry underneath a tarp each season. As an adult, I realize that it’s hard to resist these little inventions that make tedious chores a thing of the past, even when they aren’t nearly as great as the real thing in action. But even a gas fireplace is better than not having one at all and so I’m happy to have one. And one thing is certain. When the temperatures drops and the world grows bitterly cold, there’s really no place I’d rather be than by the fireplace.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Sennelier Red, Indian Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Deep, and Payne’s Grey. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
Day 9 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Stone Fireplace with burning fire

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20 thoughts on “By The Fireplace

  1. I’ve got my socky toes pointing right at your glowing fireplace, Charlie, and it’s keeping them warm and smelling divine – much better than usual. BTW, have you noticed how perfect your Doodlewash looks with the snow falling all around it? Such a cool thing WordPress does at this time of year.

  2. I can feel the warm glow from the flames in your painting. I love an open fire. I designed our fireplace in Scotland and it was more of a wrench to leave it than the rest of the house. I was happy to find a new home in America that had an open fire, though we don’t use it as much. I love the sound of crackling wood, the smell of it burning, and the little glowing sparks rising up the chimney.

  3. Charlie,
    Lovely illustration – I’m toasty all over.

    My neighbor has a wood burning stove. Each time the fire is stoked the air is filled with a magical essence that provides a nostalgic return to cherished times of my past; to a cabin in the Catskill Mountains (NY), where my family vacationed; to experiences that remind me of how I arrived at becoming the person I am today. Your illustration reminds me of the physical appearance of that fireplace.

    While I certainly can appreciate the cleanliness and convenience of the ‘remote controlled fireplace’- I doubt they will ever have the ability to evoke memories that can transcend 4 or 5 decades. Stay warm and cozy.


  4. Very appealing Charlie. We had a fireplace in one of the houses we lived in…although I don’t remember which one. But it was wonderful to come in from the snow and sit in front of a warm fire. (K)

  5. Ahh, the perfect image for the December weekend – hang the stockings and kick back! Having never had the ‘authentic’ fire experience, I’ve always liked the idea of a big stone fireplace too – so inviting and just made for this cosy time of year!

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